One person is dead and another critically injured after shots were fired following a high school graduation at Middle Tennessee State University.
The incident occurred outside the Murphy Center athletic facility Wednesday night where Riverdale High School was holding the event.
At least two people were struck as graduates and their families were leaving the ceremony, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to DailyMail.com.\
‘Tonight’s shooting at MTSU is a tragedy. We mourn with the family who lost a loved one and the victim injured,’ Sgt. Dan Goodwin said. ‘We are asking for the public’s patience. We are at ground zero on this investigation.’
The shooter or shooters remain at large. Dozens of officers and K-9 units are canvassing the area for the suspect. Residents are asked to avoid the area and call authorities if they see anything suspicious.
Officers responded to reports of shots fired on MTSU’s campus – located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, about 35 miles southwest of Nashville – around 8.51pm.
When police arrived on scene they found two gunshot victims near the tennis court next to the Murphy Center. One victim was dead and another in critical condition.
It is unclear if one the victims were students, however, Rutherford County Schools will be closed Friday as a ‘precaution,’ a district spokesperson told Newschannel 5.
‘The school is going to be closed tomorrow. We can’t comment on anything about suspects or victims. School is closed as a precaution. We are doing this as a precaution only,’ the spokesperson said.
Witnesses have reported hearing six shots ring out, with some alleging the gunfire stemmed from a fight between two men. Others claimed it was a drive-by. Police have not confirmed either account.
Hussein, who asked to only be identified by his first name, told DailyMail.com the shooting happened shortly after commencement ended.
He was by the tennis courts with his family – who were celebrating his brother’s high school graduation – when chaos erupted.
‘Me and my family were on the other side of the tennis court. We were partying, having fun in parking lot, taking pictures and everyone was leaving,’ Hussein said. ‘There was a pause in the music to change songs and we heard five shots.
‘The last shot, the sixth shot, we heard it hit something really close that was metal — it was loud so it must have hit a pole or something. It made a loud ding and we all froze and then we saw people running away.’
Hussein recalled hearing frantic screaming as bystanders tried to flee.
‘We looked around and looked at the direction of it – we saw people running and we heard people screaming for help. While people were running away. I yelled at siblings to get in the car and my mom to drive away.
‘Then somebody runs by us and tells us two people were shot. I got my family out as quick as I could.’